Chesapeake Bay Foundation Applauds New Pennsylvania Law Requiring Native Vegetation Along State Highways

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is applauding the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s passage and Governor Josh Shapiro’s signing this week of a bill that requires the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to plant native vegetation along state highways.

State House members gave final approval to House Bill 797 last week after the Senate approved amendments to it. Monday, Governor Shapiro’s signature made it a law.

According to Rep. Brett Miller (R-Lancaster), who introduced the bill, the legislation requires PennDOT to develop a list of native vegetation species that can be used in roadside work throughout the state. The use of specific species in a given area will be based on the recommendations of the state Department of Agriculture’s Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Committee.

Julia Krall, CBF Executive Director for Pennsylvania, issued the following statement:

“With more than 41,600 miles of state-maintained roads, this law delivers a plethora of ecological benefits across the state, reduces polluted runoff, and adds more natural beauty for those traveling through the Commonwealth.

“Native plants help slow down, spread out, and soak in stormwater runoff. Their root structures act as an anchor, helping to keep soils from eroding. Once mature, the roots, topsoil, and vegetation form a powerful combination for treating many of the pollutants in road runoff.  

“When established, native plants require less maintenance and control non-native, invasive plant intrusion.  

“Pennsylvanians can look forward to more trips with roadsides bursting with flowers that support birds and bees while protecting rivers and streams.”

B.J. Small 90x110

B.J. Small

Pennsylvania Communications & Media Relations Manager, CBF

[email protected]

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